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Brexit woes… redux. November 15, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

End of history my ass. Another week, another raft of problems, the latest outlined in a leaked Whitehall memo. Take it away…

Whitehall is struggling to cope with the scale of work generated by the Brexit vote and the lack of a common strategy among cabinet ministers, according to a report about a leaked Cabinet Office memo.

The note found that departments are working on more than 500 projects related to leaving the EU and may need to hire an extra 30,000 civil servants to deal with the additional burden of work.


The note, leaked to the Times and said to be dated 7 November, also claimed that “no common strategy has emerged” on Brexit between departments despite extended debate among the permanent secretaries who head Whitehall departments.

As for sovereignty… well in the face of MNCs that rings a little hollow:

In addition, it said major players in industry are expected to “point a gun to the government’s head” to get what they want after the carmaker Nissan was given assurances that it would not lose out from investing in Britain after Brexit.

In a way all this points to the (what to some would seem obvious) dangers of simplification.

Speaking of which I’ve got to admit to agreeing with Mary Mitchell O’Connor in regard to the following comments in the context of government preparations here for Brexit:

[she] compared her UK counterpart’s attitude to Brexit as a husband who wants to divorce his wife but keep all the assets, including the family home.

Particularly when one reads that:

Ms Mitchell O’Connor was surprised by the approach taken by Dr Fox at their recent meeting. He is understood to have said Britain wants to maintain access to the EU single market but also exercise control over immigration, which is at odds with the EU position that single market access must be accompanied by free movement of people.
It is understood Dr Fox said that if the UK was not granted access to the single market, the EU would have to pay compensation to countries such as South Korea, with whom the EU has a free trade deal. Losing Britain as a member of the single market meant the market for South Korea would shrink, and the EU would have to pay compensation to that country for it.

This seems like moonshine to me, the idea of compensation, but what do others think?

Just on Brexit, a fairly curious article in the IT about Eirexit by Harry McGee (I’ve lost the link but it’s easy to find) where he argues that the idea is gaining traction. But with who? Polls, as noted here previously, both before and after the Brexit vote point constantly to the lack of support for any such approach. Those he name checks including doughty campaigners such as Anthony Coughlan are hardly new to the feast. And this I find fairly unconvincing:

Certainly, Eirexit has gained some momentum of late. There is a small but growing band of public figures questioning the basis of Irish EU membership. Some are opposed to any notion of a federal Europe or EU superstate.

In that latter category he goes on to position Michael McDowell. Correct. But they’re not in the first category, at least not yet and not by a long shot. McDowell plays a good rhetorical game on the matter, hunting with the hounds and running with the fox, though in fairness his qualms about a federal EU would be mine too. But as McGee notes ‘he wants to remain in the EU’.

McGee asks:

Are these a collection of disparate and peripheral voices, or do they reflect a population far less enamoured of Brussels than its political leaders?

Well all he has to do to answer that question is to look at polling data. And that does not reflect that view.

Meanwhile he mentions the following:

An important voice was added to the debate on Friday when Frank Keoghan of the Technical, Engineering and Electrical Union became the first significant trade union voice to challenge the nature of Ireland’s future relationship with the EU.

I don’t think Keoghan is incorrect when he says Ireland has a completely unsustainable business model. Whether an alternative can be found outside the EU is very much open to question. As it stands in a time of Brexit and Trump it may be that Ireland is best positioned within the EU providing a stark contrast with our immediate neighbour which is outside it. Otherwise it is all too easy to see Ireland becoming a UK mini-me, with essentially the same factors in play but with none of its economic weight. Indeed I’d argue that if we are talking about sovereignty, then the chances for a fundamental diminution of same is more rather than less likely if we find ourselves forced into a closer relationship with the UK outside the EU.

And it’s telling that Keoghan himself posits in such terms:

“People need to look with fresh eyes at Ireland’s relations with the EU on the one hand and with Britain on the other.”

What’s also telling is how on the one hand he rightly criticises the EU for many of its current problems, but then seems to flip to implicitly supporting some of those exact same approaches in a post-Eirexit world.

He said with Britain departing, Ireland would lose a vital ally in the fight against EU-imposed tax harmonisation which he expects Germany, France and Italy to push for to prevent other member states from offering lower taxes.
“With an Irish currency based on competitive exchange rates, corporation tax rates at enforceable reasonable levels and a bank credit policy that encouraged investment for productive purposes, Ireland should become significantly more attractive for foreign investment than it if it were to remain in the EU following Britain’s departure.”

But what do the people of this state want? Again, the polling suggests overwhelming support for remain. So overwhelming that no political formation has come near to making it a central plank of their approach. And given the example of what is happening a few hundred miles to the east and north is there any great surprise there?


1. Gewerkschaftler - November 15, 2016

A trades union leader pushing for continuing corporate tax avoidance as a policy. Great. Well we know which side he’s on.

“an Irish currency based on competitive exchange rates”

The notion that a small country would have any control over its currency, given the current scope of financial capital, is a nonsense. It would be a small speculative football for private finance capital with much greater fire-power. An amusing afterthought for someone like Soros.

This canard is widespread, not least among some of the left in Germany, and I think comes from generalising Keynes’ recipies for the UK in the 30s and 40s. Small European countries today face a completely different capitalist context as the UK did 80 years ago.

“corporation tax rates at enforceable reasonable levels”

So I guess the EU standard rates are “unreasonable”.

If Ireland were to leave the EU it would be forced into a neo-colonial relationship with its nearest neighbour. Something an Ulster Unionist might want perhaps, but I can’t see its more general appeal.


WorldbyStorm - November 15, 2016

I wonder is it an unconscious internalisation of old orthodox communist approaches (or not that old, the CPB has been wildly pro Brexit) allied with a weird Britain as centre attitude that seems to tie into near imperial modes of thought (and as you say that has neo colonial aspects) as well. I’ve no doubt about his sincerity but it’s a bit depressing to hear received wisdom from a tranche of the furrher left and a sort if economic liberalism as well in the UK reiterated with no thought at all for material conditions on this island (or indeed no mention of Scotland!).


2. Alibaba - November 15, 2016

Some interesting thoughts today by Fintan O’Toole on this subject, although I don’t agree that actively promoting staying in the EU is the direction we should be going.


Whether in or out, we should fight for militants to unite organised working-class and strata like women, races, gays and minorities in defending democratic rights. We should not take sides with those who would advocate exit from the EU, well intentioned or otherwise. Not so it would seem for some on the left. Take, for instance, this:

‘People Before Profit has said that in the event of Brexit, it would campaign for the Republic to leave as well…. Socialist Party TD Paul Murphy holds the same view. It’s not a “foreground” issue but if a referendum were held, they would support a Leave vote.’


The anti EU line has long since being the approach of the Communist Party. Our struggle will not be helped by this approach which is a distraction of energies and could align us with nationalist authoritarians or those promoting the muddled ideas correctly critiqued by Gewerkschaftler .


Gewerkschaftler - November 15, 2016

You’re dead right about the distraction of energies. That’s probably the worst aspect of this dogma. The EU may well fall apart of it’s own accord. No need to spend calories helping it on its way.

“could align us with nationalist authoritarians”.

Or even would, Alibaba.

Varoufakis recently amusingly named this the ‘nationalist international’. Not entirely unrelated to the fascist internationals of the 1930s.


CMK - November 15, 2016

‘Militants’? Which militants? Here in Ireland they are almost exclusively in the two parties, along with smaller Left groups like the WP and CPI, you cite who support an exit from the EU.

You don’t see any common cause with those on the Left who are advocating an exit from the EU? Why? You prefer the company of IBEC, the American Chamber of Commerce, FF, FG etc, etc?

Because the latter are who you are lining up if you make an issue of unequivocal support for the EU.

The ICTU would support staying in the EU, individual members of ICTU unions would have a much wider range of opinion.

What progressive evolution of the EU is in the pipeline? How is it going to get the qualified majority support in a Council, Commission and Parliament with a majority of Right wingers, neo-fascists and outright fascists?

There is at least, if not more, wishful thinking in the position of sticking with the EU regardless as there is in advocating for an exit.

And, Varoufakis, please, the DiEM initiative is a seriously unfunny joke if you think David McWilliams and Nessa Childers are going to be the ‘militants’ here who will fight to support the marginalised along with the capitalist pro-EU forces who, it is becoming clearer and clearer, many on the Left are preparing to ally themselves with in defence of EU membership.


WorldbyStorm - November 15, 2016

I don’t think that analysis holds up in light of the actual reality of Brexit and all the damage being inflicted on the working class in Britain and Scotland and NI. Given that actuality, a right led exit and no prospect at all of a left led one then there’s nothing wishful thinking in arguing that however flawed the EU is a right led exit is worse allowing the worst instincts and inclinations of the right whether politically in terms of Tories and UKip or extra parliamentary in terms of businesses and bosses or worse again extreme right anti immigrant or fascist groups. Its not a hypothetical any longer. The evidence is on our doorstep.


WorldbyStorm - November 15, 2016

And we haven’t even addresses democratic and other deficits in relation to Scotland and NI


CMK - November 15, 2016

I’m not sure the are any real democratic issues regarding Scotland given the rejection of the referendum to secede. The SNP are ‘having their cake and eating it’ over Brexit. Given that the UK is a unitary polity – just stating that fact, not endorsing it politically – the Brexit decision holds as much in Belfast as in Birmingham, the Scots had a choice to leave that unitary polity but chose to stay (yes, I know ‘Project Fear’ probably swung the vote).

The spike in racist attacks post-Brexit is surely a catalyst of a process that long predated Brexit and one with deep roots in certain layers of UK society and politics. If Brexit never happened there would likely be some other event that would have sparked a surge in anti-foreigner sentiment though maybe not on the same scale or intensity.

There seems to be some coherence emerging in Labour on what form Brexit takes and Corbyn Keir Starmer and McDonnell seem to trying to turn some aspects of the process into a progressive direction. I don’t agree that Brexit is going to be all one way traffic for the Tories and UKIP.


WorldbyStorm - November 15, 2016

I think there is a democratic deficit in relation to the relationship between England and Scotland and I would argue that the SNP has more than half a case in relation to any prior referendum being based on continuing membership of the EU. But it’s not simply the SNP either. Concern now radiates far beyond it after the Brexit vote. As indeed more proximately many on this island are concerned about NI and continuing membership of ROI and UK in the EU is likewise. Changing such a fundamental pillar of the political structure is a massive change. Do I believe that that means independence is inevitable – no (though frankly I find it distasteful that Scotland remains a subsidiary part of the UK – at the least a genuinely federal system should be a minimum progressive and socialist demand).

I think that’s absolute incorrect re the spike in attacks in the UK. A process of disengagement from a multinational enterprise, with immigration positioned as a central, perhaps the central, concern and you’re saying that something else would have come along? I think that’s whistling past the graveyard on a grand scale – and moreover it isn’t backed up by any actual evidence. The riots in the early 2010s didn’t have a racial characteristic, but if you were correct one might expect them to. Whereas decades of anti-EU linked with xenophobic and anti-immigrant media and other stuff did have an effect and a gathering one.

And even if another issue was to bring it to the fore, why are you trying to wish away this actual example of an issue which did bring it into being, one that has happened, by pointing vaguely to ones that haven’t happened? It’s difficult not to get the sense that you’re trying to minimise or downplay the reality of those attacks because of the political line you follow. Or to put it another way, if one can predict a negative outcome surely one does everything in ones power to avert it or minimise it. But the truth is those who followed the ‘Lexit’ line whether there or here had no power whatsoever or influence over the shape and course it would take.

Better by far to have stood aside and said not yet, not now, the wrong time to do this.


WorldbyStorm - November 15, 2016

And just to add, had those pushing the Lexit line had some power, some actual alternative, say two or three state in Europe that would be outside the EU and work together to build a “left” alternative then all this would be absolutely a different discussion and one I’d have little hesitation in supporting. But in the absence of that (added to the character of the UK in European affairs across many decades, in fact centuries) the idea it would be trail blazer seems to me to be dubious (and to add to that I think Ed’s points below are spot on. There’s no second state likely to follow the UK out any time soon and not a one that would leave in the context of a Lexit).


CMK - November 16, 2016

In the midst of what looks like a generational change towards a consolidation of the Right across Europe, and in the institutions of the EU, there will probably never be a ‘right’ time to put forward some political perspectives.

I’m not trying to downplay the surge in racist attacks in the months since Brexit but I think the sentiments behind them have been growing and building for some time prior to the actual vote and the relentless anti-immigrant rhetoric of British political discourse was leading up to some ‘breaking point’ where the rhetoric was put into action. The Labour Party were not shy in trying to tap into and exploit that ‘concern about immigration.’ Of course, when there were previous attempts to organise politically a racist force it was the Left, organisations who would have been calling for a ‘Yes’ to Brexit, who were to the forefront in pushing back.


WorldbyStorm - November 16, 2016

You’ve fixed on one important issue which you’ve seemed to dismiss by saying it would happen anyway (though you admit probably in lesser form) but you’ve completely ignored a range of other negative impacts. And it’s curious that you turn your fire on the Labour Party – a party which has been out of power for six years and whose last governing leader was – for all his faults – straight out on the campaign trail against bigotry – something the bien-pensants suggested was one of the things that lost him the election.

The blatant xenophobia and racism is an absolute disgrace, in and of itself would in any other context be a catastrophic change, but it is paralleled by a range of other issues that are equally problematic in the broader issue of Brexit.

What I find puzzling though is you mention that and don’t say a word about the fact that workers rights are under direct threat, cultural and educational links likewise, jobs aren’t just threatened but will be lost in education, science and technology as EU programmes go, UK government expenditures won’t take up the slack and other additional programmes will also go, there’s collateral damage from a weaker pound and the imapact on more jobs as companies lose or see links with EU markets diminished and all the talk of non EU markets replacing them is acknolwedged by most economists and experts to be a crock.

Of course it doesn’t end there. The situation on this island is highly precarious. It’s not just the border, but for example the mushroom industry was predicated on membership of the EU. Already one company has shut in the midlands. Talking to people au fait with that industry more will follow in agriculture here. That’s actual jobs lost and more to come. That’s actual workers wth actual wages losing those jobs and wages.

But it doesn’t end there either. We’ve already seen figures that suggests substantial hit to growth and wages and employment in this state as the Brexit process continues.

YOu’ve not mentioned any of those instead shifting back to racist attacks as if that’s the only negative of the situation. I’m sorry CMK, but again you seem to be missing the wood for some pretty awful trees.

I am curious as to whether you believe that Brexit is worth this, indeed I’d be interested to know what level of such impacts here and in the UK you believe are worth it, and what is the benefit you see to the working class – not in some distant time, but in the immediate and near future? I guess I’m genuinely curious as to what you feel is a sufficient justification for all that we are seeing and that which is yet to come.


Gewerkschaftler - November 15, 2016

a) No unequivical support for the EU is advocated. Instead ‘inside and against’. The position is Europe will be changed radically from below, or the EU will disintegrate.

b) McWilliams and Childers are indeed an embarrassment, but I’m hoping DiEM25 will evolve.

I guess the empirical evidence that:

i) Brexit has been far from good for the working class (especially non-whites, non-Brits) so far.

ii) Anti-EU rhetoric has overwhelmingly benefited the far right so far politically.

does not count with those who have already made up their minds.

When someone can give me a convincing template or a historical example for exit from the EU or a similar federation that would not most likely land a country in right-wing authoritarian nationalism and not further weaken anti-capitalist forces then I’ll change my mind. I’m open to empirical evidence and argument.


CMK - November 15, 2016

Fair enough points which I largely don’t agree with. Anti-EU sentiment has been a bedrock of the Left here for decades, I don’t think in all cases in all societies that sentiment largely benefits the Right. And where it does surely the Right is gaining traction because of the damage done by capitalist neoliberalism, which provides the legal and theoretical basis for the EU.

Re: DiEM I have yet to see, though I’m open to being contradicted on this, any draft EU treaty which would embody ‘progressive’ approaches that could supersede the current extreme Centre neoliberal treaties. It surely could be done given the number of academics etc involved with DiEM. I suspect it will never be done because it would be impossible to unpick decades of embedded neoliberalism and replace it with even a mildly Social Democratic EU treaty.

The neoliberals in the Brussels lobbying operations, the EU Parliament and the Commission would like nothing better than for the Left to ‘stay inside and fight’ as that guarantees business as usual given that it could take decades for the Left to raise to prominence based on working inside the EU and its institutions.

The EU can only be changed, in my view, by huge shocks.


lcox - November 16, 2016

“Anti-EU sentiment has been a bedrock of the Left here for decades, I don’t think in all cases in all societies that sentiment largely benefits the Right.” I think this is broadly right. In Norway the anti-EU position is very definitely on the Left; conversely a Belgian comrade cannot understand why anyone would not be pro-EU.

Or in other words I am not sure there is a right “line” to be had on this that is going to be correct in all places at all times across the EU – and the more so since we are not likely to be setting the terms of the debate but rather be victims (as some on the English left were) of that sort of strategy.

Many, not all, on the European left are critical Europeanists in the sense that they are not nationalists, are broadly supportive of a progressive internationalism and the heritage of the European anti-fascist resistance, but are opposed to the policies that have been increasingly written into the EU at a very fundamental level. From this point of view in/out questions are always going to leave us caught.

There is also a lot of popular support for this position in that (as most recently seen in Greece) very large numbers of people are supportive of the idea of the EU, even the Euro, while being hostile to its policies. I don’t think that is a daft place to be, but it is vulnerable to the logic by which the real question is that of state boundaries and everything else follows from that.

There is also a question of the local balance of power: there is little doubt that Brexit hands more power to the right in England. Conversely the Norwegian left are probably right to feel that they would lose more by joining the EU.

At present my own sense is that the Irish left is better served by linking up with progressive movements elsewhere on the EU periphery in particular than by trying to go it alone in a situation where an England going through some dark days would be casting a longer shadow.

None of the pan-European progressive alliances amount to much at the moment – this is not just true for DiEM but also for e.g. AlterSummit, Blockupy or the Party of the Euro left – but they are nevertheless important points of reference and we should be engaging with them more effectively.

I don’t see the remotest chance of a popular majority for Irexit if the 2007-8 crash and bailout didn’t do it. Conversely we already have shown a popular majority for resistance to further neoliberal measures (which they can only get us to agree to by in effect making it a vote of confidence).

This doesn’t make disentangling a strategy particularly easy – but then the history of the left trying to deduce a strategy from a starting point based around support for a particular set of state boundaries (of any kind) is not hugely encouraging…


WorldbyStorm - November 16, 2016

Some great points in there lcox. But just to say resisting further neo-liberalisation is where it is at. Ironically the UK out of the EU might make that easier. If that’s the way it is, well, that’s the way it is.


Gewerkschaftler - November 16, 2016

Thanks Icox – you put my arguments in a more comradely and discursive fashion than I could have done.

The fact is the objectively (objectively comrade!) concentration by the left on leaving the EU, without having any concrete and believable path to that goal, is helping to keep political discourse in areas that benefit the Alt/far right.

And I’m part of that, so I’d better just shut up on the issue.


lcox - November 16, 2016

Thanks Gewerkschaftler! +1 on the objectively 🙂


3. Joe - November 15, 2016

A few points. Firstly, what’s this ‘eirexit’? I claim coinage of the word ‘irexit’ on here a few weeks back. I refuse to discuss eirexit on principle. However irexit is a serious topic for debate. And I predict more discussion of it in the mainstream media and some slippage on it from sleeveen mainstream politicians also. (I’d also predict, and have already noticed, more pro-racist etc Trumpish sentiment in the mainstream media and expect the politicos to be not far behind there either.)
Secondly Paul Murphy in that IT piece (I think) made the point that the type of socialist society the SP promotes would be illegal under current EU laws/rules. Which, from their point of view, is a fairly good reason for advocating an irexit, I would have thought.
Thirdly, this alleged democratic deficit in Scotland. The majority of people in Scotland voted for the UK to remain in the EU. They didn’t vote for Scotland (or an independent Scotland) to remain in the EU or seek EU membership. Some people seem to be claiming that this majority vote in Scotland for the UK to remain was in fact a vote for an independent Scotland to stay/join in the EU. Not so. A separate vote would be needed to establish that one way or the other.
Fourthly, I’d say that Mr Keoghan of the TEEU is influenced by the CPI line on this.
Fifthly, I heard a bit of Marine Le Pen’s recent interview on this. One line struck me. She talked about the anonymous technocrats who run the EU. That could be the winning line from her. Just like Trump fooled people with his line about the Washington elite – and people saw Clinton as the personification of that – so Le Pen could fool enough French people with her line. And if she does, there may not be any EU from which ir or eir could exit.


Aonrud ⚘ - November 15, 2016

Can we settle on eiramach, Joe? 🙂


Ed - November 15, 2016

“Eire go on, sure we might as well”?


Aonrud ⚘ - November 15, 2016

Make Ireland grand again.

Liked by 1 person

Joe - November 15, 2016



WorldbyStorm - November 15, 2016

You should sue them Joe! 🙂

I’ve a few thoughts which I’ll lash up later.


WorldbyStorm - November 15, 2016

Joe, I cover some of my thoughts above in reply to CMK. But first up the supposed bar on nationalisation is actually weaker than is supposed. States can part nationalise up to majority ownership, and semi state and sub state and municipal entities can own entities in full. Moreover none of this is written in stone. PM may say that the current regulations and laws are onerous but there’s nothing stopping anyone from getting dug in and changing them back to the status quo ante, and given that if say in this polity someone suggested that because the 8th amendment existed we shouldn’t try to change it would seem to be incorrect I cannot see why the same principle shouldn’t hold in the EU. Of course that may not work. But that’s a different matter.

it is possible that anti-EU sentiment will be broaden and deepen, but at 90% plus level of support for remain that’s quite some way it has to go. Le Pen might be a game changer, but it is notable how in France even those who support her don’t support a French exit.

I still think you should sue though.


Joe - November 16, 2016

I’ve been talking to my brief and my accountant. Suing is costly. But I know the CLR community will want to support me in asserting my democratic common law right to ownership of the word irexit. And to stick it to that lackey IT journalist who robbed my word from me by adding an ‘e’ to the front of it. Effrontery, if you will. I was also talking to my entrepreneurial tech start-up friends in Silicon Valley and they all recommended that I go the crowdfunding route. So I’ll be setting up a crowdfunding account – Joe’s Winter Break, it’s called – and I’ll be happy for you all to pitch in a few quid for this worthy cause in defence of democracy, socialism, bread, peace and land.


4. Dr. X - November 15, 2016

If Ireland leaves the EU, it will be because of decisions made at the EU level, or because the EU collapses. Not because of anything Irish people might do for or against continued Irish membership of that union.

Liked by 1 person

5. oliverbohs - November 15, 2016

Would not be in favour of leaving EU but am in favour of more on the left talking about it. Just think; if Le Pen becomes French President next year that’s 3 gamechanger electoral decisions where the left had limited, even irrelevant impact (honourable exception Bernie Sanders perhaps being stitched up). Am open to scenarios however deluded and even if only to hear them

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - November 15, 2016

I would like contingency plans on the left. That seems very sensible.


6. Ed - November 15, 2016

This may seem like a rash prediction after all the surprises of the last couple of years, but I think we can be fairly sure that the Brexit referendum won’t be repeated anywhere else in the near future—at least not in the same form. The whole thing depended on two senior Tory politicians who were completely flippant and light-minded about the risks they were taking. One was Cameron, of course, who thought he could use promise of a referendum to resolve inner-party troubles and never imagined there would be a vote to leave (of course, he shouldn’t have been so certain, EU referendums have tended to lose more often than they win, but that was certainly the way he saw things). The second was Boris Johnson, who thought he could play silly games over the referendum and put himself in pole position to replace Cameron, in the blissful certainty that there would be a vote to stay and he wouldn’t have to deal with any consequences of his stance. Without the fecklessness of Cameron and Johnson, we wouldn’t be looking at this situation at all.

So I think that lesson will be digested by the equivalents of Cameron and Johnson elsewhere in the EU: they won’t be in any hurry to play with fire now that they’ve seen it conclusively demonstrated that fire is hot. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any votes on the EU in the next few years (either on EU membership, or on staying in the single currency, or whatever else it might be), but they’re more likely to be initiated by people who are ideologically committed in a way Johnson and co clearly weren’t: either the hard-line, ultra-nationalist right, or the radical left. I could imagine Le Pen or Wilders initiating a referendum in the hope of winning it, but not the continental versions of Cameron or Johnson for the sake of political gamesmanship.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - November 15, 2016

And BJ’s wisdom continues to shine. Take this analysis of one D. Trump.

“There is every reason to be positive. Donald Trump is a dealmaker, he is a guy who believes firmly in values that I believe in too – freedom and democracy. As far as I understand he is in many aspects a liberal guy from New York,” he said.


7. makedoanmend - November 16, 2016

re: Scotland


13 October 2016

SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon Announces New Independence Referendum Bill

“…With many commentators (myself included) concluding that the cautious, canny Sturgeon will not rush into a vote she knows she might lose.

Today Ms Sturgeon made very clear that she is prepared to trigger a second referendum if she feels that is the only way to protect Scotland from what she calls a ‘hard Brexit imposed by the hard right of the Tory party’.

She was angered by what she heard from the prime minister at the Tory conference last week.”

Hearing from SNP supporters, independents and definitely from Socialists that they are actively seeking arguments (including arguments to sway the large English born population now residing in the triangle) that can tilt the balance.

Independence is still a hot issue (far from over-riding though), and the activists have pretty good demographic info. They nearly all seem willing to play the waiting game and strike only when they believe a win is very possible.

Brexit is only one part of the dynamic, not the end-all-be-all from what I’m hearing.

Don’t know any Greens, so can’t relay info about them – other than their policy of being pro-independence.

And I’m hearing that independent and non-aligned Socialists did a lot of hard slogging around Glasgow for independence often negating the then Labour message to good effect.

Myself, I think the pro-independence people would do well to play down Brexit and keep highlighting the Tory’s ideological policies. May’s policies, across the board, are hurting the majority of people in Scotland. The Brexit debacle is one amongst many.

“Canny” doesn’t just mean yes or no/win or lose. It means they will weigh up their options and their timing based upon many factors – not just the desire to ‘make history.’


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